Thursday, February 28, 2013

Around Town: Aunt Martha's Pancake House

I feel super lucky to live in a town with so many genuinely great local restaurants. Moving back here after living in a town that had three restaurants--I'm talking in the whole town, there were three total--has really made me appreciate the variety and quality of the options we have here. Aunt Martha's is one of those places that makes me love Springfield a little extra.




 I introduced my brother to Aunt Martha's about a month ago, and he's already been back FOUR TIMES. Okay, so one of those times was with my husband and I, but still. It's seriously delicious.





Here are my two favorite things about Aunt Martha's: (1) When I walk in, I feel like I'm in a small town diner. I know a lot of people wouldn't exactly consider Springfield a large town, but I grew up in the country outside a town about a tenth the size of Springfield, and I went to school in a town even smaller than that--I had 60 people in my graduating class. This feels like home. (2) The food is real homecookin' y'all. It seriously tastes like there is a sweet little grandma in the kitchen making all of this stuff. It's soooooooo tasty.


 After we ate here last Friday, I posted something on Twitter about it, and I found out that it was my Grandpa Bud's favorite place to eat in Springfield. I never knew that, but it's so comforting, somehow--knowing that even though he's gone, we still have connections like this, small as they may be.


Aunt Martha's, thanks for existing. We love you.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

life this week: watercolor

There has not been much worth talking about this week--it's one of those weeks where I'm just trying to survive until Friday, ya know? Do you ever feel that way? It's a rough one, guys.

There was a bright spot, though: my brother came over Sunday and we tried some watercolor painting. He's messed around with techniques and things before, but it was the first time he had made an actual painting, too. I've never done a painting in my entire life, or really even messed around with paints, aside from craft projects. This was way different from painting a cake topper, though!

I really really enjoyed it, though! He left his supplies at the apartment, so I have a weekend project, after I survive these two 12-hour workdays. Friday come soon!




This was my first attempt. I rather like her.



Another random idea. This is seriously so much fun. New hobby!



This is my brother's first watercolor painting. He trumps me in all things artsy--our dad was super super talented artistically, and I think my brother got the lion's share of art genes.

Monday, February 25, 2013

music monday: sarah blasko

Sarah Blasko doesn't get enough love in the US. I bought her debut album in college and played it over and over and over. She has the most beautiful, soothing voice, and her song-writing is flawless. Yet, I've never met another Sarah Blasko fan (well, aside from the people I've converted, anyway). Of course, her US fans don't get much love either--her latest release is only available in Australia, which I am super bummed about. Maybe if I get enough people to become addicted listen to her music, we'll form a movement and demand access here in the states. Okay, maybe not, but you should listen anyway:


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Work it Out.

Can I be honest?

I'm seriously out of shape.



The last time I tried to do a Jillian Michaels workout video, I almost passed out 10 minutes in. It's sad. In grad school, I worked downtown and had a membership to the YMCA; I'd walk over and workout almost every day on lunch or after work. Then I moved back to my hometown. I was working full-time, trying to write my thesis, and care for my grandparents...and the first thing to go was exercise. I know, I know, you have to make time and blah blah blah. But I didn't.

I don't have any weight or self-image issues; I think I've gained a whopping 5 pounds since my senior year of high school. Sure, I have some things I'd like to work on & change, but I'm generally pretty happy with how I look. The thing is, though, I was a competitive gymnast for years--we had 3 hour practices several times a week and really intense conditioning. You could count my abs. I'm serious. I wish I had pictures. Now, well...  I did about 20 knee-hugs yesterday, and today it hurts to laugh. I hurt everywhere.

 I'm starting small, but I'm starting! I don't expect to have my gymnast bod back anytime soon (or, you know, ever, really) but I would like to make it through a full Jillian Michaels DVD without collapsing--even if I am muttering under my breath that she's a total b-word for torturing me.

My cardio partner right now is Richard Simmons. No, I'm not joking. I used to do his "Sweatin' to the Oldies" tape (yes, tape) with my mom when I was a kid and I recently bought the 20th anniversary edition on DVD. It's the most ridiculous thing--there/s a woman exercising in denim overalls-- and so embarrassing, but in all honesty, it's the most fun cardio workout ever. Jillian sends me into a murderous rage, and Richard Simmons just makes me laugh. A lot.

But no, you can't come join me, because I know I look like a complete idiot. I actually only do this when my husband is at work.

I tack on some strength conditioning at the end, too, which I'll increase in small increments. I took my "before" picture, and hopefully in a few months, I'll be able to look back at it and see some improvement. Wish me luck!



Do you have an exercise regimen? What are some of your favorite elements?

Friday, February 22, 2013

life this week pt 2: antiques

I'm heading into another weekend today, so I thought I had better catch up on the last one. I don't really foresee doing much today, since the weather is bitterly cold and there's ice still hanging around. This time last week I was whipping up some of Sarah's famous breakfast enchiladas. These suckers are ah-may-zing, you guys. Since I can't convince her to start a blog of her own (ahem, Sarah!), I might post the recipe soon. So tasty.



Sunday while the hubs was at work, my brother came over and we decided to go poke around Relics for awhile. I love that place, but like most antique stores, I have hit & miss days. This day, I could have bought the whole place. I didn't, but I could have. I might have to head back over there this weekend too. I have reverse buyers remorse over a couple of gems I left behind.

My brother was reeeeeeeeeally excited about this. GO SPEED RACER, GO!

In loooooooooooove.


Okay, I have begun to recognize that I have a problem. I'm a bit obsessed with old cameras. I HAVE to pick them up and look through them. (Also, please ignore how weird I look in that picture. I got ready in literally 5 minutes.)



So glad my brother is around, and that he loves digging through old junk as much as I do. I think I've convinced him to have a monthly brother-sister thrifting day with me and I seriously can't wait to go. Maybe I should have asked him about a weekly trip instead. 

Hope your week was lovely!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

vine & other ways to connect

I admit, I'm a bit of a social media addict. Maybe it's because I'm an introvert that likes connecting with people, or maybe it's just because I'm a terrible procrastinator most of the time, and I like having as many ways to do that as possible. Either way, I joined Vine a couple weeks ago; I wasn't sure how I liked it at first, but it's growing on me (no pun intended. Yeesh). I think I'm going to stick with it. I guess my friends aren't as convinced, because I'm only following about 12 people, and most of them haven't put up a single video yet. So if you're on Vine, stop by and say hello!


If you're looking for more ways to connect, you can also find me on TwitterPinterest, and on my personal and (hobby) iphone photography Instagrams. Keep in touch! 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

life this week pt 1: vday date

Our Valentine's Day was pretty much perfect: low-key and relaxing. We exchanged presents on Thursday night, but since I worked until almost 8pm, we actually celebrated on Friday. We both had the day off, so we slept in a little, and then went to Zio's for lunch. Yum.


Then we went by The Cup (kinda a tradition with us--we went there a ton when we were dating!), and got our cupcakes to-go, since we were stuffed from lunch.


Tyler had Redboxed "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," since we didn't get to see it in theaters. So we ended up back home, curled up in our pajamas on the couch. We both loved it. I get so nervous watching movies based on books I really love (that's why I still haven't seen East of Eden), but it was so great. I think the fact that Chbosky directed it made a huge difference. Such a beautifully broken story.


Then I had a coffee craving, so we went to Starbucks and just sat and talked for awhile. Tyler had to work the next day, so we didn't stay out late--not that we would have, anyway, since we act like an old married couple and go to bed at 8:30. (That's not an exaggeration, for the record.)


Side note: I'm newly obsessed with Vanilla Spice Lattes. Yum.




Oh, and this is what I wore:




Details:
Dress: Modcloth // tights: Target // shoes: Charlotte Russe // necklace: Forever 21

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

a lazy tuesday night.

I'm officially halfway through my week. I'm having a conversation with my friend Sarah that leads me to believe that we've had the same past couple of days:



Is it Friday yet?

Currently....

hearing: Dredd on the tv. My brother Redboxed it and brought it over. It might be the most terrible thing I've ever half-watched.
tasting:  the KFC my brother brought along with his awful movie.
seeing:  my journal, Blogger, my phone, and an embroidery project...I'm multitasking.
wishing:  for a snow day Thursday. If there's going to be a winter storm, I want to stay home and enjoy it.
thinking:  about opening an Etsy shop. It's an idea that I've toyed with a lot lately.
feeling:  sleepy. It's 8pm, and I'm about to fall over. I swear, I'm an 80-year-old woman.




Monday, February 18, 2013

music monday: nathaniel rateliff

A couple years ago, I found myself  in the crowd of a Mumford & Sons show (and yes, freaking out). Sometimes I get a little impatient with opening acts when I'm waiting to see a band that I love (and if there ever was a band I love, it's Mumford), but not this time. One of the openers was Nathaniel Rateliff, a Missouri native from a small town near St. Louis, and he & his band were fantastic. I downloaded one of his albums before I even left the venue. This is my favorite song from that album:


Sunday, February 17, 2013

loving lately: pretty stationery

Ever since my friend Sarah and I started writing each other letters last month, I've been on the hunt for some pretty paper with almost no luck--even at stationery stores. My usual go-to for everything, Target, has failed me. I've resorted to making my own, with scrapbooking bits & pieces. I honestly like the way they've turned out, but I'm still a little stationery obsessed.  I started poking around on Etsy, and here's what I came up with:


ANTLERANDANTLER via etsy
CloudMachineDesigns via etsy
smockpaper via etsy
ANTLERANDANTLER via etsy
CloudMachineDesigns via etsy
ppresspapers via etsy
NikkiCrossApplesauce via etsy

Saturday, February 16, 2013

snow(ish) day


So it snowed a little last night--barely enough to cover the ground, and it's already melting. There's something about snow days, though, that completely messes with me. I was up before 6 because I was so excited and wanted to go look outside...and then I couldn't get back to sleep. Now I'm feeling lazy. Like, "there's-no-way-I'm-cleaning-this-apartment-I-don't-even-want-to-get-off-the-couch-I-just-want-to-watch-SVU" level lazy. So instead of being productive, I've just been lying here making a snow day playlist on Grooveshark. I thought I'd share in case you're having a snow day (or just a lazy day) too.



Friday, February 15, 2013

date day!

I only got to see Tyler for a couple hours yesterday, so we're headed into town to celebrate Valentine's Day. Hope you have a lovely Friday!

february wish list

Nothing like cold, dreary days to encourage you to sit at home, drink tea, and browse online. Here are a few of the things I've run across and put on my wish list for this month: 



1//2//3//4//5//6//7//8

Thursday, February 14, 2013

happy valentine's day!

Confession: I have always actually really liked Valentine's Day.  I think I've only actually been in a relationship for a couple of them my entire life, I hate chick flicks (with few exceptions), and I don't buy into all the commercialism and hype, but I just really like the idea of a holiday dedicated to loving people.


Photo by Colby Moore


For me, Valentine's Day is a day to shake off what dust may have settled on my relationships--with Tyler, friends, family-- and have renewed sense of gratitude and wonder at the love and care we extend each other. This year, in particular, after seeing so many friends struggle in their relationships, or watch their relationships end, I'm exceedingly grateful for Tyler and our marriage.

Last year, for Valentine's Day, I made him a book of over 200 things I love about him. I haven't looked at it in awhile, and I thought this year, I would post some (just ten, don't worry!) that I'm especially thankful for right now.


1. He's one of the funniest, silliest people I know. I love that we can put away our worries for awhile, and just be goofy together--whether that's quoting stupid movies for hours, or dance parties in the living room.

2. He's amazing with kids. Watching him around his neices and nephew, I see one of my favorite sides of him. Someday, he's going to be an incredible dad.

3. He's super smart. I love giving him crap about beating him in Wordament, but I'm pretty sure he's actually more intelligent than me by a long shot. I love that we can have conversations about things that matter.

4. Since the first time I rode in his car, he has opened the car door for me, without fail, every time. I have some feminist friends that would roll their eyes at this, but I appreciate it.  I realize that he does it because he wants to show care and respect to me. It's one of many gestures that I've come to treasure the longer it goes on.

5. He loves my family + my family loves him. Some of my favorite moments of my grandpa before he passed away last October involved him and Tyler joking and laughing together. He treats my family with the same respect he gives me, and seeing them interact is (cheesy as it sounds) one of my greatest sources of joy.

6. He's the most verbally affirming person I've ever met. He tells me every day (usually several times!) how much he loves me, how beautiful/amazing/funny/etc I am--and he means it. It never gets old, or tired, because I can see in his eyes how much he means it at any given moment.

7. He makes the best hot wings EVER. (Hey, sometimes the way to a girl's heart is through her stomach, too.)

8. He supports whatever crazy dream or hobby I have at the moment. Knitting? "Let's go buy some yarn!" Photography? "Hey, Best Buy has a sale on DSLRs!" Thrifting? "We can stop Relics if you want."  Downton Abbey? "I bought you season 3 on BluRay!" One of the best things about our relationship is that we both realize that we have separate interests, and we don't try to be into all the exact same things, even though we like taking part in them with each other. It's a great balance.

9. I can count on him. It's one of the things I most often take for granted, I'm ashamed to say. If Tyler says he's going to do something, he does it, regardless of importance. He's a man of his word, and since I've known him, I've never seen him go back on it. He has integrity, and I'm realizing what a rare quality that is.

10. He loves me, fully and truly, and he loves me the same regardless of whether I'm having a good day, bad day, sick day, whiny day, excited day, motivated day, unmotivated day, b*tchy day....you name it. His love doesn't waver. He loves me on days when I'm hard to love, or even be around. He loves me more than he loves anyone, or has ever loved anyone, even when I can barely love myself. This is one thing I'll never be able to explain. I'll also never be able to express my gratitude for it. It's overwhelming.


I hope you have reason to be grateful this V-Day, whether it's for a significant other, or a friend or family member. One thing I know for sure--you're more loved than you know. We all are, even when we don't deserve it. So let those people you appreciate know what you love about them today. Use this holiday as an excuse to love well.  Happy Valentine's Day.

Photo by Colby Moore












Tuesday, February 12, 2013

11 Questions

This morning, Chelsey over at The Paper Mama posted an 11 Questions meme challenge. I had flashbacks to the days of myspace (RIP) when we would all do those “quizzes” and post them. Confession: that was pretty much my favorite part of myspace.  So….challenge accepted. Here are the rules she posted:

1)      Post a photo of yourself
2)      Answer the questions set for you in the original post.
3)      Create 11 new questions and ask people to answer them.
Here goes!


My husband took this on my birthday the month we got engaged. :)
My answered questions:

1. If you HAD to change your name, what would you change it to? Hmm. I have honestly never thought about this, but probably Ivy Elizabeth after my Grandma (Iva) and favorite historical figure (Elizabeth I). Or Kate. My mom almost named me Kate, and I always wondered what it would feel like to be a Kate.  I like my name, though. Even though it’s pretty common, Shakespeare invented it, so I think it’s pretty awesome.
2. Are you a collector of anything? Um, British history knowledge? Does that count? Haha. I do have a (very small, pathetic) collection of medieval British coins, and a lot of books. SO many books. But I think that’s less a collection than a hoarding situation.
3. What is your first thought when you wake up? Weekdays: “UGH!”  Weekends: “I MUST GO DO ALL THE THINGS!”
4. Do you prefer sweet or salty foods? Salty, definitely.  Usually if I crave sweet, I just want a tiny bit—like a Hershey’s kiss—but I can eat an entire bag of potato chips in one sitting if I don’t restrain myself. I love savory foods. Fat kid at heart, right here. 
5. Name one thing you miss about being a kid. One? Just one? The carefreeness. ( Is that a word? )I didn’t have a perfect childhood, but I didn’t worry about half the things I worry about now. I also grew up in the country, on lots of land, so I would just head out the back door, run through the field/woods for hours without a care in the world. 
6. Are you a morning person or a night person? I’m an afternoon person, really. If left to my own devices, I become a night owl pretty quickly, but my job keeps that in check. I really hate mornings, though. Sleep is one of my great loves.
7. List 5 items on your life’s to-do list. write a book, live in England, backpack Europe, raise good kids (eventually) and find what I was made to do.
8. Share one thing that people may not know about you. I almost dropped out of college and moved to Nashville—a few times.
9. What is your all-time favorite song, movie, and book? All-time favorite song is a toughie, but I decided recently that it’s “Holocene” by Bon Iver. There’s something about it that’s so moving—it actually makes me really emotional. Movie….I’m going to go with “Love, Actually” (which is hilarious, because I generally hate chick flicks, but it’s SO GOOD). Book is easy—East of Eden by John Steinbeck.
11. Do you have any hidden talents? I’m the world’s most awkward dancer. I also do a killer impression of Fran Drescher as The Nanny.
11. Are you a really clean or super messy person? I’m pretty middle of the road. I don’t like things to be dirty or messy—it stresses me out. I’m also an emotional cleaner. So I’d probably lean more toward clean, although you wouldn’t be able to tell it from the state of our apartment right now. I’ve been sick, so I’ve been more on the “super messy” end of the spectrum.

My questions for you to answer:
1.  If you could time travel to any period in history, when + where would you go?
2.  If you had to eat one food for dinner every night for the rest of your life, what would it be?
3. Who is your favorite Disney princess?
4. What’s the most important life lesson you’ve learned recently?
5. Where is your favorite place you have ever traveled?
6.  You have a whole day with no responsibilities or plans. What do you do?
7. Who is your favorite historical figure?
8.  If you could have any animal as a pet, what would you choose?
9.  What was your favorite childhood toy?
10.  What is your biggest annoyance?
11. What is the meaning of life?

If you take the challenge, be sure to leave me a comment with a link to your blog so I can read your answers! If you don’t have a blog, feel free to leave your answers in the comments.

Monday, February 11, 2013

music monday: angus stone

My husband introduced me to Angus & Julia stone when we were exchanging cds through the mail before we even started dating. (Everybody together, now--"awwwwww".) I had no idea he liked me & he had no idea I liked him, either. We talked about music quite a bit, so I just thought he wanted to introduce me to some bands. Little did I know that he was slipping in songs that were indicative of his feelings for me, and a couple of those were by Angus & Julia Stone. Angus released a solo album called "Broken Brights" last year, and I'm a big fan, for more than just sentimental reasons. I can't say that it's the most cohesive album I've ever listened to--some songs are Bob Dylan-esque, and some I swear are being sung by Tom Petty-- but dang, it's good.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

loving lately: tiny jewlery

Confession: I'm a little on the tiny side, frame wise. I barely clear 5'4", and my husband jokingly refers to
my extremities as "baby hands/feet." (I blame my grandma Iva, who's 4'11" on a tall day.) While I can get away with wear statement necklaces sometimes, if I wear big rings, I just look like a little kid playing dress-up. I tend to seek out more delicate pieces, and  here are some that I've run across lately.

etsy


etsy

etsy


etsy


etsy


etsy

etsy



Have you stumbled across any good finds lately?



































Saturday, February 9, 2013

52 lists: grateful

This weeks prompt for 52 lists (that you can find here) is "list the things you're grateful for."  There's something weird about being sick that makes you--or at least me--basically become a writhing ball of self-pity, so writing this with a 100+ degree fever wasn't the easiest thing I've ever done. There are almost certainly things I missed that I will kick myself for later, but these are what I could pull out on even a rough day; I think that makes me a pretty lucky gal, because this is a far-from-empty list. Here are (a few of) the things I'm grateful for today:


Friday, February 8, 2013

flashback friday: oregon

I'm not one to necessarily dwell in the past, but boy, do I love reminiscing. It reminds me, even on my worst days, that I have had some amazing experiences in my life so far and that there will likely be many more to come. So periodically, I'll be featuring some of my favorite memories in a "Flashback Friday" series--usually close to the anniversary of the date they happened. This won't always be the case, as I have basically no temporal awareness whatsoever, but I'll do my best.

This week, three years ago (yes, I had to look that up), I went on one of my favorite trips ever. I really had never been interested in going to Oregon, but I have a friend who lived in Portland that just kept talking it up. He kept telling me I'd love it, that it was the perfect place for a twenty-something, and that I needed to come visit. I was in grad school and definitely needed a vacation--and honestly, I'm not one to ever turn down the thought of travel + adventure, so I packed my bags.

I was blown away by Oregon. It's, without a doubt, my favorite place in the United States that I've ever been--and I've been a few places. There's ocean, mountains, rainforest, desert, and cities, all in one beautiful state. Here are some of my favorite snapshots from the trip:






These were all from the Columbia River Gorge, which was definitely the highlight of the trip for me. It's incredibly beautiful--there are waterfalls every where you turn. I went back to Oregon last year with my friend Sarah, and I made sure to take her here. She loved it, and I loved being back. Grateful that I had such an awesome tour guide the first time around!


 We spent a day snow-shoeing on Mt. Hood. See that sign above? We definitely came up from behind it. Yikes! Haha. We had an expert with us, though, and even though he intentionally led us into a white-out and dropped off a ledge so we thought he was gone, I never felt nervous about it. It was a blast! I did find out how out-of-shape I was, though. Yeesh!


  We also spent a day at the coast, driving up from Seaside to Astoria and making several stops along the way. We took Goose (aka: Lucy) along with us. She's just the best dog. I threatened to kidnap her and bring her back to Missouri with me, but Don said no. I figured since he played host/tour guide to me for a week and took me to so many amazing places, it might be kind of rude to steal his dog. I can't say I wasn't tempted, though!

Loved this trip so much. I will certainly be going back to Oregon many many times (and maybe living there eventually? Oh, to dream!). Tyler has never been, so hopefully we can make a trip there soon. Thanks for taking a stroll down memory lane with me!






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